Is juicing good for irritable bowel?

Juicing has become a popular health trend in recent years. Proponents claim that drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices can provide nutrients and cleanse the body. But is juicing actually beneficial for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine the potential pros and cons of juicing for IBS.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurring abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. Symptoms vary by individual but often include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

These symptoms tend to flare up periodically when triggered by stress, certain foods, hormonal changes, or other factors. IBS is considered a chronic condition as there is no cure, but symptoms can often be managed through dietary and lifestyle changes.

Potential Benefits of Juicing for IBS

There are some ways that juicing could potentially help alleviate IBS symptoms:

Increased Nutrient Absorption

Juicing extracts the fluid from fruits and vegetables, leaving behind the fibrous pulp. For those with IBS, pulp may exacerbate symptoms. The juice from fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are more easily absorbed without all the fiber.

Elimination of FODMAPs

Certain sugars and fibers found in some fruits and vegetables are poorly digested by those with IBS. These compounds are known as FODMAPs. Juicing removes most sources of FODMAPs, which may help reduce gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Phytonutrients for Gut Health

Fresh juices retain antioxidants and phytonutrients that may help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Compounds like polyphenols found in fruits and veggies are associated with improved gut barrier function.

Cleansing and Detox

Some natural health advocates claim juicing can “cleanse” or “detox” the body. There is little scientific evidence for this, but the increased liquid and nutrient intake from juicing may help eliminate waste products.


Juices can provide a big boost of fluids, which helps keep the digestive system hydrated. Proper hydration may alleviate issues like constipation.

Potential Downsides of Juicing for IBS

Despite some potential benefits, juicing does come with drawbacks that those with IBS should consider:

Lack of Fiber

While removing fiber minimizes FODMAPs, fiber is still an important part of a healthy diet. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance that helps regulate digestion. For some, lack of fiber from juicing may worsen constipation.

Blood Sugar Spikes

Juices made entirely of fruits can cause big spikes in blood sugar levels due to their high concentration of simple sugars without fiber. This can trigger digestive issues for those sensitive to blood sugar swings.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Juicing discards parts of fruits and vegetables with important nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and beneficial plant compounds. Long-term reliance on juicing could potentially lead to certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Loss of Chewing Benefits

Chewing starts the digestive process by releasing enzymes in saliva. Lack of chewing when drinking only juices may impair proper digestion and can allow sugars to ferment in the gut.

High Cost

Getting pre-made juices can get very expensive. Making DIY juices requires a good juicer, which is also costly. The price of a juicing habit may not be sustainable long-term for many people.

Foods to Include and Avoid in a Juicing Diet for IBS

If you want to try juicing to manage IBS symptoms, pay attention to what you put into your juice recipes:

Foods to Include

Fruits Vegetables Herbs
Apples Carrots Ginger
Blueberries Cucumbers Parsley
Cantaloupe Kale Mint

Foods to Avoid

Fruits Vegetables Other
Apples Onions Almond milk
Cherries Asparagus Beans
Pears Cauliflower Whole grains

Tips for Juicing with IBS

If you want to try juicing to see if it helps your IBS symptoms, keep these tips in mind:

  • Go slow – Start with a small 4-6 oz juice daily and gradually increase.
  • Drink juice on an empty stomach – Wait 30 minutes before eating to allow nutrients to absorb.
  • Choose low sugar vegetables and fruits – Prioritize greens over high glycemic produce.
  • Avoid fruit-only juices – Pair fruits with non-starchy veggies to reduce sugar load.
  • Try ginger – Add a 1 inch knob of ginger root to juices to reduce inflammation.
  • Rotate produce – Switch up ingredients to avoid developing intolerances.
  • Supplement with probiotics – Take a probiotic capsule to replenish gut bacteria.
  • Listen to your body – Reduce or stop juicing if symptoms worsen.

Sample Juicing Plan for IBS

Here is a 3 day sample juicing plan for someone with IBS that provides nutrient-dense, low sugar juice recipes:

Day 1

Green Morning Juice:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 stalks kale
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 inch ginger

Afternoon Carrot Beet Juice:

  • 5 carrots
  • 1 beet
  • 1 orange

Day 2

Morning Celery Juice:

  • 1 head celery
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 inch ginger

Afternoon Green Juice:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 10 sprigs parsley
  • 10 sprigs mint
  • 1 lime

Day 3

Ginger Apple Juice:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 inch ginger

Afternoon Purple Juice:

  • 1 beet
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup pineapple


Juicing can offer some benefits for people with IBS by providing easily absorbed nutrients and eliminating gut irritants. However, lack of fiber and nutrients from pulp should be considered. Moderation is key – incorporate small amounts of fresh juices along with whole fruits and veggies. Pay attention to how your body responds and adjust your juicing habits accordingly. Speak with your doctor before making major changes to your diet like adopting juicing.

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